July 24, 2011
I meet a lot of people while on the go, some have business cards and increasingly many do not. Remembering who you met, when you met them and to follow-up with them can sometimes end up being impossible to keep straight. Add the fact that when you do finally add new contacts to your mobile contact list, you may not remember everything about your last exchange or the circumstances around how or where you met. A Chicago-based startup, The App House, took this as a challenge and has been working on a mobile application to help remedy these problems. They first launched a beta app under the name Gitbax at our Chicago spring mixer event in March. They leveraged the event and the past three and a half months to garner feedback and to perfect the product which they just relaunched this week for iOS at TechWeek in Chicago with a fresh new brand called 5Degrees.
“5Degrees brings you closer to your connections. We’re the dream mash-up of personal and social CRM, with a dash of Google Circles thrown in,” said Jeb Ory, Co-founder of 5Degrees and The App House. “Your digital Rolodex is your most valuable asset.”
5Degrees offers users the ability to pull in their mobile contact list. Mine took about a hour to import but that was due to it’s abnormally large size – I assume most users won’t take quite as long. Users can also attach Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn turning their 5Degrees contact list into a “smart contact list.” This feature reminds me of Addieu which we showcased in New York in April. Users can then keep track of “Follow-ups” and even attach notes to various contacts to help remember where, when and why you are connected or need to reconnect soon. Additionally, 5Degrees makes doing introductions or follow-ups simple by leveraging templates; sending courtesy emails only takes a few strokes of your thumb. So when you meet someone new you can add them to 5Degrees directly and send them a note in about a minute or less depending upon how quickly your fingers can type. This functionality reminds me of MyDropCard a company that came out of Philadelphia’s first DreamIt Ventures, but eventually went out of business. I loved MyDropCard so I am really happy to see this product feature in 5Degrees.
In my short test, I liked using the product and plan to continue testing it over time. This is an application that anyone who is out meeting a lot of people should give a whirl. It has the ability to boost productivity around networking by offering a convenient toolset for building relationships with both existing and new contacts.
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